July 6, 2008
Posting Without Thought
Every once in a while, I get a Wild Hare Student. WHS is the kind of student who posts almost at random, with thoughts that have no apparent relevance to the topics at hand, or who seem to be trying to get into a discussion without having done any of the work, and thus relying on what they think they know about the topic.
Just a thought: if I see your name on a discussion board post or your hand in the air, and get this feeling of impending dread, that is a bad thing.
Now, I have nothing against students adding what they know about a subject to the class. I don’t even mind the “I heard this about this topic, and wanted to know more?” sorts of students. But students who jump in without thinking, and post wild things as facts, and get upset if you correct the misinformation, are Wild Hare Students. And they are Pains in My Ass.
In a semester in the recent or near-recent past, or perhaps it was a long time ago, I’m not telling, I had a classic WHS. Yes, the sort of student who was convinced they knew everything about art history already- why were they taking an intro to art class? Beats my two pair. What was even nuttier was that they had no grasp of actual art, or history, or anything of the sort. It was as if their entire art education was based on bad Discovery Channel docu-dramas and a light reading of The DaVinci Code (may it drop off the face of planet Earth and never be heard from again!!!). It was the kind of misinformation that I couldn’t just “let go”. So to top it off, they got upset that I was “picking on them” for constantly responding to correct the misinformation, since if you just “let it go” other students seem to think I am saying it is correct information, or somehow condoning bad information, and then get upset when they get something wong on the test using that bad information- even if it goes directly against the textbook or something I have discussed elsewhere on the forum or in class.
Every time I saw WIld Hare Student on a post “author” line, I cringed. What insanity would this student post today?
WHS did not get the concept that early Christianity and modern Christianity differ, sometimes quite widely. They kept complaining that early Christian art pieces were “wrong” and “didn’t understand the Bible” and other such… interesting commentaries. Explaining who Monophysites were and what they believed didn’t seem to phase WHS. The were just wrong, and that was it. Besides, they claimed to know all about Monnophisits.
Sometimes, you can just sit back and let the other students see what is in plain and black and white. Responding to WHS sometimes is just a waste of good electrons.